You Get What You Expect


First, have the right expectations. Then, set and communicate them.

We spend plenty of time issuing expectations, but we often miss the first step, having the right ones. If we combine having the right expectations, set the correct ones led by your values, then you give your children a chance to learn.

Expectations benefit your children by giving them a sense of security and comfort – so long as what is expected is consistent and achievable. Therefore, the starting point must be to understand the capabilities of our children so that our expectations are appropriate given their intellectual and physical abilities.

Expectations that are beyond a child’s current level of comfort can be beneficial, but can also be damaging. Setting expectations that are unattainable is setting your child and your family up for frustration, misery, and ultimate failure. Children tend to form beliefs about themselves based on the message they receive from us as parents.

Seeing the potential in your children and believing in their ability to achieve that potential is critical. Your children need to understand what is expected of them by setting expectations that will drive the behavior we want to see. But first, you need to have the right expectations.

Where you begin:

I. The Role of the Family Leader: Setting Expectations

  • We get what we expect whether we realize it or not.
  • Set the direction: be intentional and provide your family the guidance they need.

II. Have the Right Expectations

  • Set expectations for your children at a level that is attainable.
  • As they grow and their experiences grow, so should your expectations.

III. Clarity

  • Clear expectations provide your child with emotional security.
  • Clear expectations help build confidence in your kids, because they understand what is expected of them.
  • Treat your children as the persons they will become.

Have them and set them: You Get What You Expect.

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How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families isn’t a book about what you should do, it’s a playbook that tells you HOW to deal with the challenges we all face as parents.


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